Water conservation is need of the hour. Rising population of India over the years, growing industrializations, and expanding agriculture have all pushed up the demand for water. Various efforts have been implemented to collect water by constructing dams, reservoirs and digging wells. Some countries have also been recycling and desalinating (remove salts) water in order to make water usable and to meet their growing demand. The idea of ground water recharging by harvesting rainwater is gaining importance around the world and it gets crucial for the cities like Nagpur which faces extreme water scarcity especially in the summers.
Rainwater harvesting, essentially is accumulating and storing rainwater. Traditionally, rainwater is harvesting has been practised in areas where water exists in plenty, and has provided water for drinking and domestic use, along with use of water for irrigation, livestock.
Accumulating and storing rainwater not only arrests groundwater depletion, it also raises the declining water table and can help augment the water supply. Such artificial measures to recharge the water are what we need to adopt and encourage in today’s times. Rainwater harvesting is necessary to stop the decline in groundwater levels and prevent sea-water from moving towards the land and conserve surface water run-off during the rainy season.
There are various effective ways to harvest rainwater. The most notable however, are rooftop rainwater harvesting and runoff rainwater preservation. The objective is to preserve the rain water and the way you do it depends largely on the purpose vis a vis domestic or industrial.
Another critical thing to be considered is that rainwater is contaminated and is often not suitable for drinking without proper treatment. Rainwater harvested from roofs can contain animal and bird feces, mosses, windblown dust, particles from pollution, gases etc. Depending on the application, water collected is cured through water diverters, insect proof screens, flap valves, tank screen, etc. Finally, water purifying equipment, UV-lights or UV filtration equipment is used to purify the collected water.
My colleague here at TLN, Himanshu is a strong advocate of rainwater harvesting and has already invested and installed a chemical resistant rain water tank. While installing the tanks, make sure the tank is installed above the ground, it should be opaque (in order to prevent the exposure of stored water to sunlight and to decrease the algae). Tank should be covered and it should have screen inlet to exclude the insects, debris, animals and bird droppings. Since, rainwater is collected on rooftops; the water is carried down to where it can be used immediately or stored.
Benefits of rainwater harvesting:
- To store water at an economical cost
- To save money on your water bills and you’ll see value in pure fresh natural rainwater
- To prevent the impact of rain water runoff
- To prevent flood levels to increase
- Increases water availability
- Checks the declining water table
- Prevents soil erosion
- Is environmentally friendly
Nagpur has already witnessed mercurial temperatures, which has not only resulted in severe damage to our trees but has also affected the water levels of the city. The city has been dealing with extreme water shortage so much so that the mayor had hinted towards a possible red flag. We at TLN would like to appeal to all the residents of Nagpur to consider doing rainwater harvesting. This would not only help their households, it would benefit the city as well.
“Life depends on water, the reservoir depends on you.”
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